Saturday, January 07, 2006

Final Report of David M. Barrett, Independent Council in the Cisneros Affair

Is there a government cover-up going on regarding the release of the 's final report on the Henry Cisneros investigation? According to a recent article, there may be. Here's an excerpt:

"WASHINGTON — Potentially explosive allegations from a 10-year independent counsel investigation may never see the light of day due to an appropriations bill negotiation that has some conservatives crying foul.

The final report of David M. Barrett, an independent counsel appointed in 1995 to investigate potential felonies committed by one-time Clinton administration Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, is tentatively scheduled for release on Jan. 19, Barrett told

However, Barrett and others say, thanks to an amendment to the November judiciary appropriations bill, key elements in the final report, which was completed in August 2004 and has been sitting with a three-judge panel at the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. ever since, may be heavily redacted before its release.

"As it currently stands, the report will not be released in its entirety," said Barrett, who didn't want to speculate why or which portions of the report may not be made public. One decade and some millions of taxpayers' dollars later, he said he is disappointed that the report may not reflect his careful and diligent efforts.

"I believe after 10 years and the expense of $22 million, the public has the right to see the entire report and make their own judgments," he said.

As the contents of the report have been sealed, Barrett is unable to offer details, but sources say the most serious of the allegations concerns, in part, the use of the Internal Revenue Service under the Clinton administration to intimidate political foes. The charges in the report could embarrass former members and associates of the Clinton White House, including former first lady and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., say the sources.

"Some people have said it contains some serious allegations, and when people see the report, they can decide for themselves," Barrett said."

According to the article, the portions in question deal with persons who "had not been publicly indicted or named." Privacy, especially for those not charged and who never will be charged should be protected, and I, for one, strongly support such concerns. However, there is disagreement on the level of "redaction" of the report, and legislation dealing with the matter is still a concern. The article goes on to state:

"Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa and Dorgan introduced an amendment to the judiciary appropriations bill that would have released all portions of the report, with deletions only for "clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy."

But the language worked out in the subsequent House-Senate conference and in the final bill gave much more discretion to the court to redact individuals' names, which critics contend, ensures that much of Section Five and the most serious charges would be left out of the final report."
I get very nervous whenever the Clinton's are involved in a criminal case, and the potential for political "shenanigans". Until the report is released, hopefully with only minimal redaction, we will never know if there is any fire beneath the smoke.


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